Category Archives: book discussion

Book Discussion – Wild Boy (Chapters 4-6)

We continue with our discussion of Andy Taylor’s book this week, focusing on chapters 4, 5 & 6.  Like last week, Amanda’s comments are in blue.

Chapter Four

R:  The chapter opens with a description of how/when Andy met Tracey.  I’ve always been curious about the relationships between the band and their significant others. Each of the members are so different, and naturally the relationships they have with the people surrounding them have extremely different dynamics as well.  For Andy, Tracey seems to be the person who grounds him, who keeps him whole…and in several places, Andy refers to her as an angel.  He clearly has great respect and pride for her, and it’s clear that their relationship has gone the distance at least in part due to his reverence.

Andy comments that “By the time I was twenty, I’d played hundreds, if not thousands, of gigs in different countries, but for the first time I had something worth sharing in life.” (Page 82) I thought this was such a sad statement, as if only by having fame and some money that only THAT was worth sharing…and then later on the same page Andy comments that many girls flocked to the band because “they needed what we had, but Tracey didn’t need any of it.” Indication that at least to some degree, Andy appreciated that Tracey stood on her own two feet and that her relationship to him wasn’t driven out of “need”, but rather out of mutual admiration and respect. I would imagine that this was, and probably still is, a common problem for the band, or any band for that matter.

As we all know, Andy marries Tracey the following year, and as I’m sure many of us could have guessed, there was some discussion as to whether this would affect the fan base.  Would fans be upset that Andy was getting married – assuming that “Well, that’s the first one, I wonder how long it’ll be before they’re all gone and married!” As most fans would probably recognize, Andy was never really marketed as “the sex symbol” for the band in the way that perhaps John and Simon were.  Each of the band members did have their own role to play though, and I can remember hearing about Andy’s wedding (and seeing pictures) in Tiger Beat magazine.  I remember seeing the top hats and the picture of Andy & Tracey – and I can also remember thinking that he was the first one.  I guess I did wonder how long it would be before the rest of them were taken, but to be fair – I was not even quite twelve when they got married. It was hardly realistic for me to think ANY of them would A) Notice I existed or B) Wait a good ten to fifteen years for me. So, I got over it all pretty fast. Sure, Roger stayed my favorite for many, many years, through marriage(s), children, divorce (his), remarriage (also his) ….we all need fantasies to get us through the rough times, don’t we?  I think for most fans, we recognized the fairy tale for exactly what it was.

A:  I noted that this chapter held the first real mentions of significant others.  Roger’s girlfriend and later wife, Giovanna, was mentioned before but not in any detail.  I found Andy’s courtship with Tracey to be very sweet.  As Rhonda mentioned, there was a great deal of admiration and respect there.  She definitely seemed to bring stability to Andy.  As he stated on page 82, “…she brought stability into my life at a time when I could easily have slipped into a different lifestyle that I would have later regretted.”  That’s a big deal.  It also seems like when they had a chance to spend time together, they made a point of getting away from the insanity of Duran Duran, such as buying a house more out in the country or riding horses. 

R:  The other major event discussed in this chapter was the incident in Germany.  There was a bar fight leading to a night in the hospital for Roger (who was apparently very, very lucky) and John severely hurting his hand.  I have to be honest here.  I still don’t really understand what happened that night.  I’m not at all sure ANYONE does, and I definitely know I never heard any of this story before this book came out.  I just wasn’t aware, even if I should have been by now.  The one thing I do know is that this single incident changed the entire dynamic of the band for Andy going forward.  I really don’t understand why though.  Perhaps it’s that because I am so far removed, I’m not understanding the subtleties, or that because the story feels so disconnected and disjointed that much of the details are being left out.  Andy seems to feel badly on one hand that he wasn’t there to help out, but on the other hand, he seems at least partially relieved that he had made the decision to stay in.  I can’t honestly blame him – it sounded like a nasty beating even though at this point I still don’t understand why John punched his hand into that light fixture.  Perhaps Andy explains it best when he says that John was angry with himself.  I don’t think anyone but John truly knows.  The one VERY telling comment that Andy makes here that is worth discussing “I think you can forgive anything when someone is suffering, but in my view John had either meant to punch the light, or he’d been so out of control that he’d done it by accident – and either way he needed help.” (Page 93)

If that is in fact the case, that John needed help – why is it that no one, not one single person in that “Band of Brothers” didn’t make the attempt?  Lack of maturity?  Hindsight?  Is this a case of the band failing John?  By Andy’s own admittance, nothing was ever done.  He says in the last page of this chapter “Did we ever sit down and talk about it?  Was there ever any consideration of whether John or anyone else needed any help coping with the intense pressure of constantly being pursued? The answer is no.  We were just glad to et off the road. Deep down inside, it was the first time that we realized how fragile we were and how bit the ramifications could be if any of us went off the rails”….”We had to understand that none of us could afford to have a bad day, and from this point on there could be no more days off. Ever.” (Page 98)

Isn’t that the truth? The entire Duraniverse comes to a screeching halt and screaming prevails whenever something goes wrong – and I have to admit, that has got to be daunting.  Just recently I had a discussion with Amanda about something I’d noticed at a show, and in turn she shared that she’d noticed a member who doesn’t make the effort to shake hands with fans as he is exiting the stage. Sure, we could label the person as a slight germ-a-phobe, but more likely, he’s watching out for himself.  He can’t afford to be sick.  None of them can afford to have an off night, as inhumane as that sounds, and this is 2012.  Can any of us really imagine the pressure that was on them back in the mid-80’s?  Probably not.  That alone would have made me want to run screaming for the hills if I were in the band, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

A:  I, obviously, took note of this incident as well.  I would be curious to read John’s account of this event, Roger’s account of it, and everyone else who was there.  It isn’t that I don’t believe Andy or his speculation about why John punched the light fixture but, like Rhonda, I feel like there is a lot more to this story and only with everyone’s perspectives would we begin to understand.  Then again, I know that things happen so quickly in traumatic events that it is hard to figure out what happened and why.  Clearly, though, Andy thought it was a big deal.  He wrote on page 93, “I think that some of what occurred that night got bottled up inside John and Roger, and it may have had a bearing on how things unfolded in the future.”  Would John agree with that?  Would Roger?  Like Andy, I would have a hard time imagining that it wouldn’t.  After all, it sounds like Roger was attacked and, maybe, literally, for no reason.  That can definitely affect you.  John’s reaction seems to be quite extreme.  I would have a hard time thinking that his scars were mental and emotional as well as physical.  Now, the fact that they didn’t talk about what happened I think is probably the most significant.  If that is the case, I bet they weren’t talking about much.  That’s huge as communication is key when working together and, in their case, they were not only working together but living together and going through an intense experience together. 

R:  Andy also discusses Nick’s relationship with Julie Anne. As an outsider, it appears to me from the onset that Julie Anne never quite made headway, especially not with Andy, but perhaps with anyone in the band – that’s not really proven by Andy’s writing – but it’s definitely intimated in what he says.  Why is that?  Andy makes sure to point out that Julie Anne is not British, but in fact American.  How much do you think this played into how they treated her as an outsider?  “But as for Julie Anne, I remembered something that Paul Berrow had told us before we’d left for the States. ‘Ooh, when those bloody American birds get hold of you, you won’t catch your breath,’ he warned. ‘Different set of values.'” 
As an American fan, those are harsh words to overlook.  I’m really not sure what was meant – and given that I was barely a teenager at that point, I really couldn’t even guess.  Any ideas??

A:  Wow.  I, too, took note of Andy’s reaction to Julie Anne.  He described her as “very pushy because of her social standing”.  Was this a case of American vs. Brit?  Was it a case of class differences?  Was it is a case of perception that rules did not imply equally to everyone as Andy was upset that Julie Anne was allowed to travel with the band while he sent Tracey back home?

Chapter Five

R:  This chapter is all about the videos. I know I’m not the only Duran fan that is fairly well-read on the videos at this point, but even so – it’s interesting to get Andy’s point of view. Naturally when we’re thinking of DD videos, not only does Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf come up, but also Girls on Film.  Easily serving as the most “shocking” video in the band’s repertoire, it also did exactly what the band’s management had hoped – it got the band noticed!  One thing that Andy does say, that frankly I take issue with only because I live here in the US – is that the video encountered no problems with the audiences here in the United States.  Curiously, I never saw the video unless it was the very watered down version or I was watching it from the video album that the band put out.  Granted, I was young at the time and not a club-goer, but even so – the US was not really known for open sexual imagery on regular TV, and certainly not in the 80’s.  But, the main point is of course that the video was a brilliant marketing tool…

“And some people will do ANYTHING to sell records.”  🙂

The relationship between Andy and especially Paul Berrows seems to be called into question several times during the course of the reading so far.  One such scene takes place on page 114 of this chapter when they are filming in Sri Lanka.  Andy describes how Paul wants to build something on the island – Andy mentions a temple (hopefully in jest?!?) and how he wouldn’t want to build anything with the guy.  Simon, on the other hand is far more sympathetic to Paul’s desires, saying that he’s just eccentric and creative.  Andy of course feels that being creative and eccentric is the job of the band.  I don’t think it’s any surprise to fans that Simon was closer to the Berrows brothers than Andy, and that it becomes Andy and Nick (by Andy’s account) later in the book that begin to question just how much profit is due the Berrows brothers.

A:  I, too, noticed some negative statements towards the Berrows.  For example, on page 101, he stated, “…even though the Berrows helped, I still believe we would have found everything without them.”  Thus, in Andy’s mind, they didn’t do as much as they think or as much as others might think.  Fascinating.  Obviously, as an outsider, I have no way of knowing.  

R:  Say what one will about Andy’s tone and sense of negativity – he also has moments of proper perspective that I rarely see or hear from other band members thus far.  “Along the way along the roads, children would spill in front of the vehicle and stop us, offering us watermelons….we soon cottoned on to the fact that what they wanted from us most of all were any Biro pens or pencils that we had with us…I remember thinking: How long will that last them and where will they get another one from?”  (Page 115)  Truly.

One comment that Andy makes that I really do identify and believe comes when he surmises the experience the band had with videos in general at the end of the chapter.  “It helped us to connect with our audience a bit like the way the Internet helps new bands to do the same today.” (Page 121)  Back in MY day (as I settle back into my rocking chair, here), videos were all we had. Other than seeing the band in the occasional interview in a magazine or watching a video – we had no other way to know what was going on with them. I can remember being surprised as to whatever color Nick’s hair was next (or Simon’s or even John’s for that matter), or whatever fashion choices they’d made.  I think I expected ALL of their videos to be like the Sri Lankan videos, and I always wondered what exotic locale they’d take us to see next.  Never did I dream that one day I’d trade tweets with them online, or “meet” thousands of other fans on Facebook.  Who knew?!?

A:  I enjoyed reading about the videos that I have seen thousands of times.  I like hearing about things that I never knew before like how Simon got hurt during Rio or that the video director for Union of the Snake focused on this idea of lizards.  I also like reading about the irony of filming these beautiful videos of Save a Prayer and Lonely in Your Nightmare in a poverty-stricken country on the verge of civil unrest or the idea of Girls on Film showing the band putting on hairspray and makeup.  That said, at times, I struggled to place events in proper order as there wasn’t real chronological order given even with the videos.  For example, Is There Something I Should Know was talked about before Save a Prayer. 

Chapter Six

R:  I don’t know how many fans out there had ever heard the tale of the IRA planning to assassinate Prince Charles on the night of July 20, 1983 – but I’d never heard that story prior to this book.  To be honest, it STILL sounds a bit James Bond to me, not that I don’t believe it – just that it seems like such a crazy plan. That’s just how far removed the US really can be sometimes though.  As a citizen here, I’ve always felt very safe – up until 9/11 of course. I think we’re incredibly lucky that we’ve not had more happen here to keep us on our guard, to be honest, and I, like millions of other Americans, grew up taking my safety for granted. That’s why the IRA story sounds so Bond-like to me.

A:  I noted that, according to Andy, the band had technical problems during this important show.  I immediately thought about Live Aid and wondered if Duran struggles during big, important gigs like this or if it is just that they show the cracks, the rifts, the problems with the band.  Something to ponder…

R:  During this same period of time, the band was in the process of recording Seven and the Ragged Tiger – the last of the albums that the band would record as the original five, and most certainly the toughest for them to record, by the band’s own accounts.  So much goes on during this recording, and it’s impossible to ignore the influences that any of it had on the success of the album.  Nick and Andy begin to question just how much the Berrows brothers were taking from the band.  They want to talk to them about it, but Simon is becoming closer with them.  Roger is non-confrontational and according to Andy – John buries his head in the sand.  I’m not sure if that characterization(s) is/are fair, but the point is that this too, creates a rift.  Andy and Nick have their own problems, coming to a head over Julie Anne.  How does this translate into the record?

A:  I am interested in what Andy decides to include and what he doesn’t here in this chapter.  I can definitely understand his inclusion of the fighting with Nick, regarding Julie Anne, whom he really didn’t (doesn’t?) trust.  Obviously, that is important to the story of Duran and important to his story.   He also includes a story about Simon and John competing over this Miss UK who was there.  Why put that in the book?  Did this competition affect Simon and John’s relationship?  Did it affect the band?  Maybe it did and maybe I will see the connection later.  Until then, I have to wonder.  The same question can be asked about the story about Nick getting sick or John crashing his car.  I guess the point there is that they were all harming themselves with the intensity of their lives, but it still makes me slightly uncomfortable. 

Next week, we’ll discuss chapters seven through eleven – read up!

– A & R

Book Discussion – Wild Boy (Prologue, Ch 1-3)

As promised, we have started our discussion of Andy Taylor’s autobiography, Wild Boy, My Life in Duran Duran.

With the very first note, Andy makes it very clear what his intention will be with this book.  His life IN Duran Duran. That is very pertinent, particularly because while it is an autobiography, most people are not aware of Andy beyond is work as a musician in Duran Duran as well as his solo work thereafter. (or in between his “tours of duty” in the band.  To make things even more interesting, Rhonda’s notes will be in the standard black font and Amanda’s additions/comments are in blue.

Prologue

R: Andy begins the book discussing what is ultimately Duran Duran’s last appearance together as the “original five” at Live Aid, July 13, 1985.  Not in the UK of course, but in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA…a grace note that has always somewhat ruefully amused me. I don’t think many, if any of us who were fans back in the 80’s really knew the end of an era was taking place that day. I certainly didn’t, even if I remember being slightly deflated by the performance. I suppose the humor, if there really is any, to be recognized in that moment is simply that it could have been in any city, in any state, in any country.  As good of a statement as any that it happened in Pennsylvania than anywhere else, simply reinforcing the notion that you just never know when it will be the last time.

Andy chose to open his book with the what is the ending to the first act of his career in Duran Duran. The encore of course comes much later, but I found it rather telling that he chose to open with an account of performance that was not only the last, but also highlighting on a bum note. This recount is profoundly negative, if not for Andy, then at the very least for the fans who followed them along the way. I don’t personally know of any fan who looks back on that Live Aid performance with feelings of triumph and joy, if the performance itself didn’t bother us (and how could it not? It wasn’t only Simon’s note that fell flat – there was zero charisma and connection going on that stage that day.), hindsight tells us that the performance was DD’s last as the original five, and for many, it still remains a bittersweet memory. In many ways, the description of this performance sets the tone for the book – bittersweet.

One section of the prologue describes the ride they took to the venue, “We drove to the venue through streets packed with excited rock fans, but inside the bus the atmosphere was if were were on our way to a funeral.”  (page 5)  Immediately following the recount of that bus ride describes the scene of Live Aid as a giant party scene.  Not only is are the two “scenes” diametrically opposed, what I found poignant is that the only partying to be done – the festivities, so to speak – were found only when Andy is on his own, away from the band.  Although Andy admits that his heart just wasn’t in the mood to party as he tries to fall into bed that night.

A: When talking about this party lifestyle, Andy wrote, “But the lifestyle we had aspired to, and for which we had worked so hard, became the very cancer that was starting to destroy us.”  Clearly, Andy wanted to really show how problematic he found the life that he had created by describing it as “cancer”.  Word choice can be everything.  It also reminds me that so many people who become famous question if fame is really a good thing.

R: Andy closes the prologue with a question – “Was it all worth it?”  Keep that question in mind for later discussion.

Chapter One
R: Andy begins this chapter with one of the saddest things I’ve ever read – the day his mother leaves he, his brother and his father. It is quite obvious that this single event changed Andy forever, and I think the aftermath of this abandonment proves to be something Andy struggles with to this day.  I think that while perhaps not many of us have experienced something similar, we can all certainly feel empathetic. I think that after reading this section, I felt some sort of connection to Andy.  My mom never exactly left – but there was a time when I was very young (about five years old) that my mom was away for six months.  I know that for me, the worry of having my mom leave again played a huge part in the person I became.  I followed the rules and tried to be a “perfect” child, just to make sure she wouldn’t leave again, no matter the reason. Those feelings follow me to this day, and so I have no doubt the same holds true for Andy. Later in the chapter Andy comments that he has difficulty saying “good-bye” to this day, and I have no doubt this taps into the ways that he and the band have parted…twice. 

A: I also noted the importance this event must have had for him.  I took particular attention to the steps leading up to his mother’s departure.  At one point, he stated that he had no idea that there was trouble with his mother then he starts to discuss the horrible arguments his mother and father had.  Then, part of him was relieved when she left.  I wondered how much, if any of this, influenced his own behavior and his way of dealing with problems.  

R:The austere and rough beginnings from Andy’s childhood seem to be far more blue-collar than what the rest of the band experienced.  Not being from the UK myself, I can’t decide if this is in fact the case, or rather just the way Andy writes.  No matter, Andy still talks about where he is from with pride – and as someone who grew up on the “wrong side of the tracks” myself, I still speak of my neighborhood with pride.  I am well-aware of who I am and where I came from, and I think most of us can appreciate that, especially since we all know that he’s experienced far more luxury in life than most at this point.

When I think of Andy Taylor, I think of someone who just isn’t going to be forced to follow the rules.  He’s going to do what he wants to do, when he wants to do it.  Call it stubbornness, call it whatever you’d like.  I laughed when he described various “rules” in his house – not going into specific rooms, not touching certain things – and of course Andy still did what he liked.  Somehow I think we’re going to find that carrying over into his tenure in Duran Duran.  Call me crazy.

One extended note to carry for later discussion: Andy carries much of his feelings about his mom leaving with him, choosing not to discuss but rather keep it all bottled.  He is fairly silent about much of it until he is in his adult years.  Many fans have mentioned how fairly “silent” both the band as well as Andy have been regarding the events leading up to his departure(s) from Duran Duran. Granted, none of us are on the inside and know just how much talking was or wasn’t done, but it is certainly something that should be thought of for later on in the book.  Is that “silence”, the lack of finality, the lack of “good-bye” something that Andy continues?? 

A: On the topic of keeping his feelings to himself, I noted that Andy seemed to try to focus his energy or feelings towards other things.  In this chapter, he obviously turns to music, but he also mentions that he played sports, aggressively, and got into fights.  In his view, music was the best of these as they kept him out of trouble. 

Chapter Two
R:In this chapter, Andy talks about The Rum Runner.  The scene of the crime, so to speak!  Again, coming to this story as one who didn’t grow up in the UK – I always took what people said about Birmingham for granted.  I’d always heard it was a very industrial sort of town, not very nice, not some place to spend time. In fact, just two years ago when I was coming into the UK to see Duran Duran for the ill-fated shows that ended up being canceled, I was headed to Birmingham straight from Heathrow.  The customs official that stamped my passport wanted to know “Why on earth” I was going to Brum.  He told me it was not a nice city and that I should pass it by in my travels. I smiled (what else am I going to do with a customs official?  Argue??) and went on my way, not really knowing what I was getting myself into – but I figured it would be an adventure.  I have to say – I LOVE BIRMINGHAM.

A:Ditto, says Amanda! 

R: Sure, it has a certain industrial feel to it, not at all unlike where I grew up.  I think that’s why I fell for the city – it feels like home to me. (Sans the canals. The closest thing the “Charter Oak” area of Glendora/Covina had when I was growing up was “The wash”, a place I was strictly forbidden to go and play. I guess it was a “sort” of canal…it was a big concrete gutter lined with chain link fence that collected the runoff water and funneled towards treatment plants or the ocean!)  Anyway, in reading the book what struck me was how, compared to Cullercoats, Birmingham was the utmost in trendy.  I still don’t think anyone would actually say that about where I grew up, unless you want to talk about the downtown area that has been used for various movies over the years…but that’s OK.

A: Ditto again! My childhood was also spent in a place with an industrial feel (south side Chicago), adds Amanda.

R: Another sight that comes into plain view during this chapter is Andy’s feelings for Nick.  Even on a musical level, it’s pretty obvious that there is no love lost here.  Andy talks about how Nick only played the black keys on his keyboard – something that Kate Bush was known for doing at the time – and that it only amounted to playing one key.  “Nick’s interpretation of doing music was very obviously going to be different to mine.  Playing seemed to be the last thing on his mind, but he wanted to make keyboard sounds and textures and layers of sound – and in that sense he wanted to do something different that had never been done before.”  (page 40)  I’m not sure at the time that Andy recognized the significance of what Nick was trying to do – but I think it’s clear in the tone of his writing that he felt Nick was on a completely different musical planet.  Of course, it’s that difference between the two that helped to create the most iconic sounds of the 1980’s…. 

A: I, too, took note of Andy’s comments regarding Nick, especially when Andy said that he didn’t want to understand traditional structure of music.  Besides Nick, I thought it was interesting that he took time to describe first impressions of each band member in some detail.

R: I did as well, Amanda.  What I noticed though was that in nearly every description – Andy poked fun, and of course the now-infamous LeBon Leopard pants, in pink, were mentioned as well.  I suppose a reader could take his gentle ribbing about his first impressions of each band member as a sort of “dig”, but I really think Andy reflects back on that time with fond memories, thinking that when they all first met – they were really all just normal kids – the farthest away from being rock stars than we could imagine.  Things changed very, very fast!

The chapter ends with the band getting signed to EMI. “It felt strange and unreal to be at the headquarters of EMI negotiating a new beginning at the same time that John Lennon’s death brought to a close a huge chapter in the history of rock and roll. We didn’t know if it was fate or a bad omen.” (page 56)  In my opinion, this continues that bittersweet tone of the book. The passage reads so negatively, I can’t honestly believe Andy feels that way about his career in Duran Duran.  This edition of the book was published in 2008, and I have to think that not enough time had passed from his second tour of duty to allow the sharpness of the more angered or painful memories to dull…does the negative tone overshadow all the good??

A: It is fascinating to me that they agreed to split the royalties equally as John and Nick could have easily asked for more as the founders.  To me, that shows something about their characters. 

R: I didn’t even think about that, Amanda.  I think it’s because I’ve heard for so often that they always split things equally that I read right over that without noticing.  I’m not sure it really says that much about Nick or John’s character as much as it shows their naivete and youth at the time. They were probably so excited by the very prospect of being signed that they didn’t give any thought to whom had been around longest.  Ego probably didn’t crop up until a bit later.

Chapter Three
R:The chapter opens with Andy talking about the first time he tried cocaine. We all know by now that the band and cocaine were fairly synonymous back in the day. Apparently Andy felt (and perhaps this was widespread belief at the time) that cocaine was a “rich man’s drug” and that it was harmless. I have to be honest, as a kid – I never thought about their drug use and I’m not even sure I was aware.  I think that for me, it was the beauty of being far removed.  I didn’t *see* all of those things.  I heard the music, saw the (eventual) videos, read the articles and didn’t know about the rest.  I’ll go one step further and say that I’ve never tried cocaine. That’s right. I really am one of those good kids to this day! I just never saw the point.  I think I was fairly judgmental about people who did any kind of drug when I was young – alcohol aside – and so for me, I’m really kind of glad I never paid much attention to the murmurs of drug use by the band. For me it probably would have made a difference (keep in mind that we’re talking about me at the age of twelve or thirteen) because drug use scared me, apparently for really good reason!

One thing that I find fascinating is how Andy describes the recording of Planet Earth and his role that he shared with Nick in being the two that made most of the commercial decisions at the time.  Knowing the tension that seemed to exist between Andy and Nick makes it all the more…humorous, perhaps…that they were the most involved on the business-end.  Of course Andy explains their backgrounds and why this made sense, but I have to wonder if this didn’t just add to the friction. 

A: I noted the same thing and was surprised by that.  Why wouldn’t John have been involved more? 

R: In reading this chapter, I noticed that Andy takes the time to point out the tiny fissures already  forming.  In one part he talks about the lack of confidence in Simon’s vocal quality while recording Planet Earth, at another point he says though that as far as he was concerned, Simon was the vocalist.  Fair enough. Management always has different ideas than the band and record company, it seems.  Andy talks about how the label chose to promote John first (He was the most photogenic.  No, really?) in Japan and that he (Andy) thought this would upset Simon.  He talks about the competitive nature, notably between John and Simon, of meeting the most girls, this of course being the beginnings of the much-publicized hedonistic lifestyle of the band. Andy goes on to point out that this lifestyle goes completely against what was happening in the rest of the country at the time, with rioting in the UK, the height of the cold war, nuclear bomb fears, etc.  Yet the band known for excess everything grew beyond the limits, meeting Warhol, taking a bus filled with crazily dressed fans from The Rum Runner into Paris.  I think Andy continues to make his statement simply by juxtaposing the good times with the rougher moments that fans like me never really saw or experienced.  Bittersweet. 

A: Adding that this focus on fun, partying, and statements about being the band dancing when the bomb dropped did not help Duran get critical acclaim.  Instead, it led many people to look at them with scorn, according to research I have done.  

– A&R